Weed Smell
(Last Updated On: December 19, 2016)

Just about every product inquiry we receive most likely talks about whether a particular vaporizer is durable enough for its price, whether such vaporizer performs well enough, or whether it smells when used in particular locations such as the bedroom or bathroom.

So, we’ve come up with this article to answer the third question, which we say is a tad trickier to answer as many factors come into play. To answer your question the best way we can, read on.

So, does vaping really smell?

Yes, but in a way more subtle and discreet as compared with combusting dry herbs. Here’s a little statistic from www.torontovaporizer.ca: Smoke is about three times as odorous as vapor, and anyone who enters your room up to about 180 minutes since you last smoked might still know you’d been doing. In contrast, vapors linger for just about five to 10 minutes, depending on how well-ventilated your room or bathroom is.

Why Vapor Smell Matters

We might not ask or answer the obvious. But many of our callers who are very much particular with vapor smell share their space with someone else or are having neighbors living closely nearby. So, unless you live in a more enclosed, private or relatively remote location, or unless you happen to live with vaping enthusiasts too, that odor coming from your vaporizer still matters. If the top vape producers managed to pull-off the most discreet vaporizer design — resembling ordinary objects like walkie-talkies, pens or even kitchen appliances — then in some way, vaporizers should also rule the olfactory sense, minimizing the scent that might otherwise be noticeable with people nearby.

What Vapors Smell Like

Here’s a general consensus among beginners and seasoned vaping enthusiasts: that thick cloud coming out of your favorite vaporizer smells like burnt popcorn or weed (if you’re familiar with it already), particularly when you choose higher vaping temperatures as when using conduction-style vape pens or portable vaporizers set at higher temperature settings. Others also report some peanut butter smell, which could depend on the type of vaping material you use.

But no matter how you “overcook” your dry herbs, the odor your device exudes pales in comparison with smoke coming from joints or cigarette. As we’ve mentioned earlier, smoke has about three to four times as much more odor strength than vapor.

So why is vapor less noticeable?

The answer lies on the airborne materials’ components. Because vapor is less dense than smoke, it quickly dissipates especially in a well-ventilated area. On the other hand, smoke contains more particulates as byproducts of combustion, and many of these small particles easily attach to the walls or fabrics. Thus getting rid of smoke is much more challenging.

How Long Does Vapor Smell Stay In Your Room?

Vaporizers produce those clouds that may look like smoke but do not have the same chemical or particulate content of real smoke. That being said, imagine lighting up your cigarettes in the same room and you’ll notice the smell of it clinging to almost every piece of upholstery and even the walls. This is because all those byproducts of combustion are denser. Plus, the carbon atoms abundant in smoke easily attach to the fabric, which explains why a smoker’s house or car still gives off faint traces of smoke long after he or she quit smoking. In fact, major repaints or thorough cleaning needs to be done even the goal is to completely erase any traces of smell. Vapor, on the other hand, is less dense and contain very few particulate matters that may otherwise linger inside. So, it only takes a few minutes for vapor to dissipate especially in a well-ventilated area. Compare that with smoke, the odor of which could linger for several hours to even days after your last session.

The main rule by which we test whether how long vaporized materials stay inside your vaping area is the vaping temperature you choose while taking those hits. For example, setting your vaporizer’s maximum capacity to, say, 230 degrees Celsius would create denser clouds and of course, might result in stronger odors than choosing a lower vaping temp of 180 degrees Celsius. Also, in an open space, vapor dissipates so quickly that when you vape from about 5 feet or more from anyone, he or she could hardly smell your botanicals. Also, frequent vapers are less likely to notice the smell immediately as compared with those who do vape less frequently or those who do not vape at all. It’s because the more you do your sessions, the less sensitive to and more tolerant you are of the substances that come out of your weed. 

Portable Vaporizers and Vape Odor

Portable vaporizers are perhaps the best devices you can use when trying to minimize vapor odor inside an enclosed space. First, most of these devices are designed not to reach or exceed combustion temperatures. The most popular portable vaporizers and their maximum heat settings include the Arizer Solo (210°C), DaVinci Ascent (430°F or 221°C), Wispr (190°C), Vapir NO2 V2 (205°C), and G Pro Herbal (420°F or 215°C).

Notice that none of the portable models exceed the 230°C temperature mark for combustion; although some vapes like the Ascent has a tad higher limit of 221°C. And at this point, you’d almost always get a burnt taste, not to mention the more intense vapor smell when choosing this high setting. So, to keep things on the low and, of course, get healthier vapors, choose a lower temperature — just enough to get those flavors out.

Although we know that vaping inside the room will likely leave a distinct yet transient odor inside, the good thing about carrying a portable vaporizer with you is your freedom to choose a perfect spot in your place where there is enough open space or good ventilation. In contrast, you can’t easily do this when you have a desktop vaporizer, unless you carry with you a balloon filled with vapor, or when the area where there is good ventilation has a convenient power source.

In addition, portable vaporizers such as the Arizer Solo also comes with a potpourri dish that might just come in handy whenever you need to mask any remaining odors left behind from your last session. Just change the glass stem with the dish, place the device upright on any flat surface, put your dried aromatic flowers into the dish, and let the Solo diffuse the scent gradually.

Odors from Desktop Vaporizers

Because of the stationary nature of tabletop vaporizers, much of the odor is concentrated within one area where you operate your device. Also, the larger heating chambers of these plugged models and their internal fans inside (for forced-air models) does make the odor more noticeable than the portable ones.

There are, however, some desktop vapes that exude lesser smell or at least are designed to help you do some workarounds to manage the odor.

First on the list is the Aromed 4.0 Vaporizer. This may not be the most popular desktop model in the market, but you’ll be surprised by the excellent vapor quality this desktop vaporizer could offer. In fact, we even rate its vapor quality better than the Volcano vaporizer by just a small difference (Only that the Volcano ranks number one because of the added functionality of a forced-air system that allows balloon vaping, plus its more compact and user-friendly design).

What makes the Aromed 4.0 unique is the water filter system that cools down the vapor before he reaches your mouth. Water also acts as a natural magnet that attracts particles from the vapor itself, making those clouds you see less pungent yet more flavorful.

Best desktop vaporizers to choose

The best vaporizers to consider are with forced-air systems, which are built to support balloons, or plastic bags that are inflatable. Simply put the mouth of the balloon into the nozzle of the vaporizer and let the fan force those flavors outside the device and into the balloon. The result is a temporary portable storehouse of the vapor that you can carry around and use in an area with good ventilation.

To date, the best forced-air desktop vape models have always been the Volcano, Arizer extreme Q and the Vapir Rise vaporizers. Special mention of the Vapir Rise’s HEPA filter, which seem like not really much of a plus factor when it comes to reducing vapor smell, but the cleaner air used while vaping does help at some point.

The Arizer Extreme Q vaporizer is one notable vape we recommend because it also comes with a glass bowl for aromatherapy.

After vaping with the Extreme Q, remove the whip and place the glass bowl, into which you can place your potpourri.

Then turn the heat and fan on to low setting and let the aroma diffuse. Also, this device comes with a remote control.

So, adjusting the settings would be easy and convenient for you even while you’re away from your Extreme Q.

How About Vaporizer Pens?

Vape pens are the most difficult to control in terms of temperature adjustment because most of them feature only one button that turns the heating coil on and heat it up to it maximum temp, depending also on battery power. Because of their compact sizes, there is almost no room for that added electronics needed for temperature control.

Admittedly, vape pens with heating coils are also more likely to combust the material that directly comes into contact with the coil. Thus there is, to some degree, some smoke, resulting in more noticeably odorous vapor. So, always vape in a well-ventilated area when using pens.

How to Minimize Vape Odors

When possible, use oil or other concentrates that give off a lot less odor. The general consensus is that dry or fresh herbs usually exude stronger odor. If it doesn’t smell, then it’s not weed!

As we’ve mentioned earlier, use your vaporizer as an aromatherapy device after vaping. If you’re using an Arizer Solo, for example, replace the glass stem with the glass bowl and put in your mix of flowers to mask the odor of weed.

We recommend taking your vaporizer and using it in a well-ventilated room. A balcony is a perfect place to take those hits, or if you are near the window, make sure you exhale the vapor in the outside direction. You may also put up a fan that faces toward the window opening.

If you’re expecting anyone to come into your room after vaping, make sure to stop your session at least 10 minutes before their expected arrival. Vapor dissipates more quickly than smoke and does not cling to any fabric or other surfaces in your room. An aerosol freshener can always come in handy when you have so little time to let the vapor smell dissipate.

When using a forced-air desktop vaporizer, use a balloon to store your freshly made vapor, and inhale them in a well-ventilated space. The cooler vapor also dissipates more quickly.

The Bottom Line

To end all confusion, vaping dry cannabis always results in a certain amount of smell. Cannabis itself contains cannabinoids and other compounds that have that distinct odor. And if your herbs don’t smell as they should, ask yourself again if you’re getting them from legit sources.

But we could not stress out the notable difference between smoke and vapor even more. Vapor smell always dissipates much more quickly than smoke because of the absence of particulates that could stick to any surface inside your room.

The main point is all about responsible and discreet vaping when needed, especially in places where using weed is not widely accepted or even illegal. Stick to the guidelines and legislations, and if you find a private place in a location where you’re allowed to vape, you can always take note of what we shared with you to minimize vapor smell.

What’s your vaping experience? Share with us your stories or suggestions below!

Written by James Rubio